Main content area

Supply chain and logistics issues of bio-energy production

Gold, Stefan, Seuring, Stefan
Journal of cleaner production 2011 v.19 no.1 pp. 32-42
bioenergy, biomass, energy, energy crops, feedstocks, harvesting, pretreatment, supply chain, systems engineering
Within the concert of renewable energy technologies, bio-energy can play a decisive role during the next decades, when smartly designed and applied under favorable conditions. In this respect, efficient and effective supply chain and logistics management represent one key parameter. This paper presents a literature review of articles published in English-speaking peer-reviewed journals from 2000 to 2009, which cover the interface of bio-energy production and issues of logistics and supply chain management. First, the articles are assessed according to descriptive criteria such as journal, year of publication and research design applied. Then, issues and challenges of designing and operating biomass chains that secure stable and competitively-priced feedstock supply for bio-energy plants have been classified (1) into the operations harvesting and collection, storage, transport, and pre-treatment techniques as well as (2) into overall supply system design. Although biomass supply chains for energy use are manifold in terms of size, design, and functioning, most relevant issues regarding supply chain management and logistics of bio-energy production are identified. The findings are discussed against the backdrop of bio-energy as sustainable renewable energy option.